6,500 Languages2 mins 852 2 mins 852
The Venetian glass sat beside the
Antique soldier cladded in combat
Styled khaki riding an outraged horse.
Grandpa used to recite me Urdu poetries,
Sang in unison by countrymen to claim
Release off foreign policy.
I used to sit in awe
Grasping a notebook to my chest listening
What men in different countries cried out
'Sardas' meant freckles that
He drew on my forearm neatly without a
He told me Portuguese seated
As a western romance language in the
There are 6,500
Languages we cover our tongues with,
Clothing it with black-blue bow tie and
Welcoming it to our feast.
'Agape', he seldom
Smiled and said hid a meaning of selfless love.
A syrupy lamplight is strewn like old models
Of clay artwork,
Bathed more in sun and laid
Out on tables, shelves, inside nooks, everywhere.
'Why is it that we have so many languages
But still choose to keep shut?'
Grandpa did not know.
He said the world
Did not too.
Our boots pounded on
Cobblestones and the Latin wailed in the
Achy moonlit forest asking for help.
His language was like an old terrain the
Pilgrim laughed at.
He still doesn't let go.
Latin said the word 'lassata est' meant
Not just being tired,
But to decay while masking
An undone spool of thread around life.
Could not quit. 6,500 languages were held as ticket
Stubs for canceled vacations.
I wore a sad smile.
'If language is in galore, what do we fail in pa?'
'Emoción', he spelled the word
On a crimson paper scrap,
Pulling out italics
Softly. 'Emotion in Spanish?',
My dream is shedding
Its muddy, storm-laced skin gnawing now at a
His olive eyes peered through a decade
I held in mine,
'If only people had emotions left.'
If people had emotions left is like a metaphor
To decorate decaying flowers along corners of
And, I'm scattered fragments of
Yet another mirror my trembling hands dropped
On the marble floor.
Emotions, I rechecked the word.
Grandpa lowered his head burying
It in his cupped palm.
'Betrayal meant human in my mother tongue.'
There are thirty-one suns dusking on my
Yet 6,500 languages can't say it out